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The Truth about Truth

It seems that every commercial is now political. In fact, we receive logs regarding our ads and they show that very few are running right now. Of course, that’s no surprise.  Political advertising has the right to purchase ads at the lowest price on the station. And by law, they can “bump” non-political ads from the airwaves.

Most of the time, an ad barely catches my attention. How many politicians walking in their casual sweater or talking intently to a crowd in their rolled-up-sleeves can you really take. Then, an ad will come on TV that charges some amazing statistic or belief about the opposing candidate.

John McManus has written a book “Don’t be fooled: A Citizen’s Guide to News and Information in the Digital Age“, to give tactics on sifting through the truth versus lies. It helps turn all of us journalists.

The Internet has given us all the ability to do quick fact checking. He gives some suggestions for places to turn to.  Here are a few places to look:

FactCheck.org: a site managed by the University of Pennsylvania that you will see listed in newspapers.  It analyzes statements by politicians and news makers. They pull material from radio, TV and print advertisements.

Snopes.com: a place to go when you hear a story that sounds so unbelieveable that you cannot tell whether to believe it or whether it is a myth.

Politifact.com: a site operated by the “Tampa Bay Times” that claims to sort out the truth. It rates politicians claims and even gives one category of “pants on fire”.

It’s great to have the Internet. Wouldn’t it be great to have a “truth light” on the TV for watching the news there. Or, maybe invent a flashlight to shine on friends, when they tell stories. Kinda like the mood ring, to see if they would change colors.  Truth is fun!

I guess if there is some fear of what is out there… this is what happens:

Tough Times

For a Friday blog, sometimes I wax eloquent and sometimes it’s just wax. This probably falls somewhere there.

Political commentators claim that the upcoming elections will be driven by our wallets. People vote their economics.

When I saw this picture, it fell within that framework. We know things are getting bad if this is behind a knock at the door… Tough Times:

Florida Election Ballot Woes

The Tampa Bay Times just reminded me why I never  focused my law practice in election laws. The Florida ballot this fall  is longer than ever.

The ballot will be full of choices for US Senate, Congress, the State Legislature, county offices, merit retention for judges and city and county referendums. There are even 11 proposed changes to their state Constitution.

According to Supervisor of Elections, Deborah Clark, “This is the longest ballot I can remember. The voter who sees this ballot the first time, may need smelling salts”. Another County Supervisor, Harry Sawyer, Jr. added, “They have created a monster”.

The ballot is so long that voters will have to fill out multiple sheets with races on both sides; Then, feed those sheets through ballot scanners one page at a time. Election officials admit that this will cause long waits in the lines to the polls, and people will need more time to vote.

As a past political science major, I look at this kind of voting expectation and know that it favors those that can take time from work. If you are afraid of getting stuck in line or can’t take the time to get through the entire ballot, then these ballots certainly favor those without such restriction. It adds an interesting factor to the Presidential race, with Florida being such an important state.

History tells us that in 1960,  the Presidential election may have been significantly impacted by dead voters. I guess “vote early-vote often” sounds a whole lot less illegal than also having 56 different people reportedly voting out of one house. I recall that history, because this Florida ballot makes me wonder if anyone will pass away during this election, while waiting in line so long to vote!

For pic 0′ day, I was sent this as a reminder that when you’re hurt, it sure is easy to get a bit angry!

 

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